“Supreme Court Ruling Weakens Apple’s Control Over App Store, Impacting Billions in Annual Revenue”

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court granted the implementation of a court ruling that may weaken Apple’s control over its profitable iPhone app store and have an impact on billions of dollars worth of annual income.

The justices denied Apple’s appeal of lower-court decisions that concluded that many of Apple’s policies regarding apps downloaded on more than one billion iPhones violate California law’s prohibition against unfair competition.

The popular video game developer Epic Games filed an antitrust action that gave rise to the appeal. In addition to losing its more general argument that Apple, based in Cupertino, California, was breaking federal antitrust law, Epic’s appeal was denied by the court on Tuesday.

However, by rejecting Apple’s appeal, the court revoked a ruling that had previously prohibited app developers in the US from including links to payment methods other than its own in iPhone apps. Developers might evade paying Apple’s commissions more easily with that modification.

Apple’s app store, which was introduced in 2008, a year after the first iPhone went on sale, was allegedly turned into an illegal monopoly by Epic, a Cary, North Carolina-based company, that stifles competition and innovation while bringing in billions of dollars for Apple.

To avoid paying the app store’s developer fees, which take 15% to 30% of subscription sales and other digital transactions, Epic attempted to provide another route for users to download its mobile app.

After Epic attempted to circumvent limitations that Apple claims to safeguard iPhone customers’ security and privacy while simultaneously aiding in the recovery of a portion of the money that powers one of the most widely used devices in the world, Apple removed Epic from its app store.

In a case similar to its action against Apple, Epic won a jury trial last month over Google and its Play Store for Android apps. What modifications Google must make to its Play Store is set up for decision by a federal judge. 

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